Posted by: karanoel | March 5, 2021

Wait.

One of the commands I use frequently with Sunny is “wait.” I taught it to her when we started taking walks on some fairly busy streets near our house, requiring that she stop completely before each crossing and wait for further instruction. It has turned out to be a far more versatile – and crucial – command than I realized. More than once, it has kept her from running out the front door when it’s been left open, which is particularly important since she hasn’t even come close to mastering “come.” It has also kept her from bolting after an interesting dog or racing too fast or close as I’m teaching her to ride alongside my bike, guarding her safety – and mine. Most importantly, I think it has taught her to listen for what comes next, whether it’s “let’s go” to keep moving forward once it’s been deemed safe or “this way” to let her know we’re changing directions. 

If I’m honest, “wait” was one of my least favorite lessons to learn from the Lord. I spent so many years working on this command (and still am); wanting to become obedient, but feeling impatient and frustrated with this unwanted pause as I restlessly yearned to hear “Let’s go!” This was especially true when I didn’t know why we were stopping for so freaking long. I mean, everyone around me seemed to be moving forward… would it be so hard to let me have some uninhibited motion too?! It was so very tempting to override His voice in my heart and at times I did… running at my own pace, dashing off in the direction I felt I should be going, bolting after the things that wanted fulfillment now. But those things never satisfied like I thought they would. Some even caused me, or people I love, harm. So, very slowly and with great frustration, I learned the value of waiting and came to see God’s deep care in it. 

Not only was He keeping me safe, but He was keeping me from falling for the seductive appeal of immediacy that would allow me to settle for anything less than His best for me. The time in between wasn’t inactive like it often felt, but a time of very intentional preparation for what was ahead – both the immensely beautiful things I couldn’t have fathomed then and the impossibly hard things I couldn’t have faced without those foundational years of learning to hear His voice. That process forged a solid sense of trust; one that recognized that God saw beyond what I could and was leading me to the place I most wanted to be. Which, ultimately, was with Him, whether or not that path held the things I wanted.

But as His deep and wide heart would have it, that path has held the fulfillment to so many desires of my heart. And waiting was a significant piece of that. Though I couldn’t grasp the delay in the answer of my prayers for a husband, I fully believe that the 15 year waiting time for John to show up in my life (after my short-lived marriage that produced Cole) gave me time to heal from hurts and brokenness, to grow and mature in my my relationships with the Lord and others and to prepare me to be a wife to this amazing man. I’m pretty sure the prolonged pauses I felt even about dating through those years spared me a good deal of confusion, distraction and hurt. And, as it turns out, John had been in another marriage during that time so God was hanging on until just the right time to release the gift of this man who was more than worth the wait.

As a married couple, our faith was challenged through our house-buying journey as we spent a handful of years to save money and qualify after a short sale, and another handful of years actively looking – but failing to find – what we were looking for, or having our offers beaten out in a very competitive market. All the while, prices continued to climb and our discouragement grew. At times, one of us really wanted a house and we would have to walk by the other’s sense to wait. It was not easy but we kept trusting as best we could. And then one day it appeared. The home that stole our hearts; that was given to us immediately by the owners & realtors who could easily have created a bidding war; the home that exceeded our hopes and expectations, was in the heart of our community and provided a needed place for my parents. I still thank the Lord every day for this beautiful provision, made all the sweeter by the wait that caused us to see His hand so fully in it.

There is one more piece of this I want to share. I had gone to a year of college in my 20’s and had wanted to go back, almost desperately, through much of my 30’s. Most people, I think, would say that’s a good thing and one worth sacrificing for. But every time I pursued it, I couldn’t find peace and forcing it didn’t feel right. I reasoned that God knew I would be overwhelmed since I was a single, working mom who didn’t juggle things well. Still, I felt thwarted and frustrated. I’ve since realized that a major motivator was a sense of identity/accomplishment and that a degree isn’t necessary for what I feel called to do, both of which the Lord knew all along. But I have been floored to realize what else He knew: That Cole would pass away at the young age of 22. Though I didn’t know it then, God was gracing me with the irreplaceable gift of time with my incredibly dear boy who has always rested at the center of my heart. How empty a piece of paper seems in light of that. I could not be more grateful for this gracious use of “wait” and “this way.”

I don’t know if you are in a waiting place. I think we all are to some degree. But I am once again encouraged – and hope you are too – to press on with Him and listen for His instructions. He gives us so much more than we would take for ourselves and will faithfully train us until we can walk in sync with His step, trust His wisdom and wait as long as it takes to see the reality of His goodness, generosity and love fulfilled in us and for us.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: